It’s not every day that a home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright goes on the market. In fact, it’s quite the rarity. His posthumously realized Socrates Zaferiou House—designed in Wright’s trademark “Usonian” image, constructed in 1961, and now up for sale—is even more impressive given its location within Rockland’s Blauvelt State Park. Yes, it’s true; for a piddling $1.5 million and change, the Socrates Zaferiou House could be yours.
If you’re unfamiliar with the name, Wright is one of the foremost American architects of the 20th century. He designed over 1,000 structures over the course of his career, including Fallingwater, a 1935 creation which was dubbed the “best all-time work of American architecture” by members of the American Institute of Architects. In 2000, Fallingwater was named “the building of the 20th century” by the same organization, reaffirming Wright’s stature as an architect decades after his death.
With four bedrooms and 2.5 baths, The Socrates Zaferiou House comfortably accommodates both residents and visitors—a necessity for the owner of such an enviable dwelling. It follows the formula of a typical Usonian home excepting two additions: one extra bedroom and a basement, both approved by Wright. Throughout, the home bears his unmistakable mark in the way of wood paneling, red floor surfaces, and even a couch designed by the architect.
However, it is not Wright’s visual refrains that most impress but the consistent, pervasive harmony one enjoys in this mid-century prefab. Such balance is Wright’s tendency; the structure is considerate of the surrounding environment and vice versa. As a result, a generous wash of light enlivens the space, and there exist opportunities aplenty to engage with the surrounding landscape from within the house.
Generally, the building is defined by long, straight lines fashioned out of wood. This convention becomes especially useful when it is interrupted. From outside, the long, geometric edifice accentuates the wildness of the surrounding terrain; within, ovular countertops, circular furniture, house plants, and even artworks exploit the same powers of interruption, elevated in their juxtaposition to Wright’s linework. A comparable relationship appears in Wright’s use of color; upon the dominant color palette—defined by wood, concrete, and stone—he imposes his hallmark “Cherokee Red” hue to animate the patio, the kitchen’s peninsula, and other surfaces in and around the house.
The homestead is co-listed by Brandon Wagner and Richard Ellis of Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty in Rockland County. The pair seek a buyer who appreciates both the aesthetic and historical value of the home. “Sarah Anderson-Magness, the current owner, and Socrates Zaferiou, the original owner who met Wright at the site, share a passion about preserving this historic home,” says Ellis.
When Anderson-Magness—also an architectural designer—renovated parts of the Socrates Zaferiou House, she was careful to preserve “key features” of the building such as the bathroom’s handmade tiles. The Ellis Sotheby team hopes Anderson-Magness’ successor will share her predilection for preservation. “Accordingly,” continues Ellis, “we’re looking for a caretaker as much as a purchaser.”
Asking price: $1,525,000
Selling points: The Socrates Zaferiou House is a stone’s throw from Nyack and Piermont, and a 35-minute drive from New York City. Features like the extensive built-in cabinetry and period-style patio ensure that the home is as practical as it is haute. The property includes 2.5 private acres situated within the 644-acre Blauvelt State Park, meaning there is no shortage of scenery for residents to admire.